From phlogiston to caloric: chemical ontologies [Book Review]
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Foundations of Chemistry 13 (3):201-222 (2011)
The ‘triumph of the anti-phlogistians’ is a familiar story to the historians and philosophers of science who characterize the Chemical Revolution as a broad conceptual shift. The apparent “incommensurability” of the paradigms across the revolutionary divide has caused much anxiety. Chemists could identify phlogiston and oxygen, however, only with different sets of instrumental practices, theoretical schemes, and philosophical commitments. In addition, the substantive counterpart to phlogiston in the new chemistry was not oxygen, but caloric. By focusing on the changing visions of chemical body across the revolutionary divide with a more sensitive probe into the historical actors’ material manipulations and linguistic usage, we can historicize their laboratory realities and philosophical agenda. An archeology of chemical bodies that configures the fragile stability of the material worlds chemists created in succession promises a philosophical horizon that would recognize our hybrid (natural–artificial) environment as an evolving investigative object of science
|Keywords||Phlogiston Caloric Chemical ontologies Incommensurability Lavoisier Guyton de Morveau|
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References found in this work BETA
Davis Baird (2004). Thing Knowledge: A Philosophy of Scientific Instruments. University of California Press.
Frederick Beiser (1992). Kant's Intellectual Development: 1746–1781. In Paul Guyer (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Kant. Cambridge University Press 26--61.
Nalini Bhushan & Stuart Rosenfeld (eds.) (2000). Of Minds and Molecules: New Philosophical Perspectives on Chemistry. New York: Oxford University Press.
Nalini Bhushan & Stuart M. Rosenfeld (eds.) (2000). Of Minds and Molecules: New Philosophical Perspectives on Chemistry. Oxford University Press.
Hasok Chang (2010). The Hidden History of Phlogiston: How Philosophical Failure Can Generate Historiographical Refinement. Hyle 16 (2):47 - 79.
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